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The Promises of Glass
The Promises of Glass, Michael Palmer's first new collection since At Passages (New Directions, 1995), contains seven sections: "The White Notebook", "The Promises of Glass", "Q", "Four Kitaj Studies", "Five Easy Poems" "In an X", and "Tower". These gorgeous new poems explore language and the "salt sea of autobiographies". His work also examines what Marjorie Perloff has d ...more
Hardcover, 103 pages
Published April 1st 2000 by New Directions Publishing Corporation
(first published 2000)
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The Promises of Glass is a mash of both forward momentum meanderings and steady, single lined ideas or conversations. Much of the work is philosophically based with specific interest in color, duality, time, imprecision, and the inadequacy of photography. Palmer often sets up terse aphorisms with abstract descriptions or musings. Another aspect important to this work is the notion of listing or numbering, e.g. 18 poems named "Autobiography 1," "Autobiography 2," etc. In this vein, the book seems ...more
I heard Michael Palmer read back when I was studying at Michigan. Perhaps I wasn't ready for him then (that happens, that writers speak to you at different points in your life, even certain books speak to you differently when you read them again at another time, in another space, at another place in your life). At that time I couldn't get into him, but now, I just read Company of Moths and was like, wait, this is quite good--that first section "Stone" made me read and reread every poem before I ...more
MP lives in a rarefied world-- more Objects than objects in his poems, given in a high diction with a lot of philosophical back and forth. Why are these poems not boring? Because he dreams in this forms, he doesn't just discurse about them-- his gestures aren't jabs at a blackboard but the waving arms of a sleepwalker. The blurb on his Selected is that this poetry is "somatic." Whatever. Read this book and its crazy autobiographies and its magnificent poem "I Do Not."